Dan Rafael: Moises Fuentes

Chavez-Vera undercard almost set

September, 4, 2013
• When the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. got cut training for his super middleweight fight with Brian Vera on Sept. 7 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the entire card was postponed. With Chavez-Vera rescheduled for Sept. 28, now at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., promtoer Top Rank has rescheduled most of the original undercard bouts to also shift to Sept. 28.

The undercard will include junior lightweight contender Diego Magdaleno against Edgar Riovalle, junior welterweight contender Karim Mayfield (in his first fight since signing with Top Rank) against Pavel Miranda, up-and-coming junior lightweight Jose Felix Jr. (no opponent yet) and middleweight prospect Matt Korobov against former “Contender” winner Grady Brewer. Also on the card in six-round fights are two 2012 Olympians, who are among boxing’s top prospects: American junior welterweight Jose Ramirez and featherweight Oscar Valdez, a two-time Olympian from Mexico.

• Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek’s next fight likely will take place Nov. 16 on NBC, Main Events promoter Kathy Duva told ESPN.com. There had been some talk that Adamek (49-2, 29 KOs) might face up-and-comer Bryant Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs), and it could still happen, but not on this card. Duva is also engaged in discussions with HBO about the next fight for newly crowned light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KOs). He will make his first defense on the network before the end of the year, likely in November, but they are still ironing out the exact date and an opponent.

• Top Rank has released five fighters their promotional contracts, according to vice president Carl Moretti: lightweight Mercito Gesta (26-1-1, 14 KOs), welterweight Wale Omotoso (23-1, 19 KOs), junior middleweight Abie Han (19-1, 12 KOs), flyweight Jonathan Gonzalez (13-1, 11 KOs) and junior welterweight Levan Ghvamichava (10-1, 8 KOs). All are coming off defeats.

• In a last-minute addition to it’s schedule, Spanish-language network UniMas has added a card to its “Solo Boxeo Tecate” series and will carry Saturday night’s card from Tapachula, Mexico. The main event is for a vacant interim junior flyweight title between Moises Fuentes (17-1-1, 8 KOs), a former strawweight world titleholder from Mexico, and Colombia’s Luis De La Rosa (22-1-1, 12 KOs). Full titleholder Donnie Nietes (31-1-4, 17 KOs) of the Philippines is sidelined by a cut and will be obligated to face the winner of Saturday’s fight in his return. Nietes and Fuentes fought to a draw in a March title fight in the Philippines.

• Super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz (45-3, 26 KOs) of Germany, scheduled to defend his title on Oct. 19 in Leipzig, Germany, now has an opponent. He is due to face Isaac Ekpo (22-1, 16 KOs) of Nigeria. Ekpo is an obscure fighter with no names of note on his record who has never boxed outside of Africa. The undercard is slated to include flyweight titlist Moruti Mthalane (29-2, 20 KOs) of South Africa in a mandatory defense against Spain’s Silvio Olteanu (14-6-1, 6 KOs) in a fight originally scheduled for Sept. 13 but shifted to this card.

Vazquez, Calderon both return

October, 4, 2012

Former junior featherweight titlist Wilfredo Vazquez was supposed to face former champ Rafael Marquez in his next fight, but Marquez again withdrew because of an injury.

Marquez withdrew from the fight when it was scheduled for Aug. 4 and from the rescheduled clash this weekend. But this time Vazquez isn’t waiting for him and the show will go on.

Vazquez (21-2-1, 18 KOs) will instead face Puerto Rican countryman Jonathan Oquendo (22-2, 15 KOs) in a scheduled 12-rounder on Saturday night (PPV, 9 ET, $49.99) at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Vazquez's hometown.

“You are facing for the first time a fighter like me, a fighter of my level,” Vazquez told Oquendo at this week’s final news conference. “Oquendo is not a fighter of Marquez’s level, but I’m going to fight him. My job is to train and facing the best fighters and I’m going to win this Saturday to go for another chance for the world title, and after that the 126-pound (featherweight) division.”
[+] EnlargeVazquez vs. Oquendo
Jose Perez/PR Best Boxing Promotions Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. of Puerto Rico will face countryman Jonathan Oquendo on a PPV card Saturday.

Vazquez has not fought since losing a decision in February for a vacant 122-pound title to pound-for-pound star Nonito Donaire.

Oquendo was originally ticketed to be on the undercard of Vazquez-Marquez, but moved into the main event when Marquez bailed.

“I’m in good shape and condition for this fight. I’m very focused for Vazquez Jr. I want to become a world champion. I’m hungry for this fight,” Oquendo said.

In the PPV co-feature, strawweight titlist Moises Fuentes (15-1, 7 KOs) of Mexico will make his second defense against former champ Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon (35-2-1, 6 KOs) of Puerto Rico. Calderon was 105-pound champ from 2003 to 2007 and regarded as one of the best fighters in the world. Although not a puncher at all, Calderon possessed ridiculous defense and rarely lost rounds. Then Calderon moved up and won the junior flyweight title in 2007 and held it until 2010, when he ran into the powerful fists of the much bigger and stronger Giovani Segura, who knocked him out in back-to-back fights.

Last October, Calderon, a likely Hall of Famer, returned from the second loss to Segura by dropping back to strawweight for a decision win against .500 fighter Felipe Rivas. One year later, Calderon, 37, is back looking to reclaim his old belt against Fuentes.

“Everyone says that I’m old, but look at (Sergio) ‘Maravilla’ Martinez against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.,” Calderon said of the Sept. 15 middleweight championship fight between the 37-year-old Martinez, who won, and 26-year-old Chavez. “I’m very (well) trained and ready to win this title again.”

Fuentes, apparently, respects his elders.

“I don’t underestimated Ivan Calderon because they say that he is old,” Fuentes, 27, said. “I can’t think he is old. He is a former champion and a legend, so I train hard for this fight (so I can) keep my title.”

By the way, Marquez (41-7, 37 KOs) has also found himself another fight. Zanfer Promotions announced this week that Marquez will face countryman and former junior bantamweight champ Cristian Mijares (46-6-2, 21 KOs) in a junior featherweight fight Oct. 27 in Mexico City with the flyweight co-feature pitting former junior flyweight titlist Edgar Sosa (46-7, 28 KOs) of Mexico against former flyweight titlist Sonny Boy Jaro (34-11-5, 24 KOs) of the Philippines.